The 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP24, has concluded its 13-day series of negotiations and deliberations, hosted in the Polish city of Katowice. The conference focused on how the world will push forward in curbing human-generated carbon emissions in an effort to address the rapidly-growing threat imposed by the effects of global warming, and included agreements on how individual nations will measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions, with the new rules coming into effect in 2020.

Although it’s found on another planet altogether, there’s a permanent "winter wonderland" on Mars that would never suffer a green Christmas — or a red one, as the case may be. The European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter used its High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) to take pictures of the 82 kilometer (51 mile)-wide Korolev crater near Mars’ north pole, home to a massive mound made of water ice that persists year-round due to the crater’s peculiar topography.

Korolev crater’s ice sheet is 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) deep, and with a volume of 2,200 cubic kilometers (530 cubic miles), the ice pack holds a similar amount of water in ice form as Canada’s Great Bear Lake, or five times that of Lake Erie.

Unofficially, we are living in an era that some scientists call the Anthropocene epoch, due to the indelible impact humankind has made on the geology and ecology of the planet Earth. Our influence can be seen in areas such as our effect on the planet’s biodiversity, the warming of the Earth’s climate, the depositing of radioactive materials, and also in literal changes to the landscape — effects that are expected to affect the geological record for eons to come, as if humanity were a major geological event in of itself. But a group of researchers propose that what will truly stand out in the fossil record as the legacy of humankind will be none other than the bones of the humble chicken.

 Our Christmas Special this year is an hour with Linda Moulton Howe, and she and Whitley cover the world of high strangeness. They start with MK-ULTRA and the possibility that it is continuing. Linda starts with this: "from every direction, I am getting a sense that 2019 could be one of the world’s most tumultuous years, physically from the planet’s point of view, from the environment, from the government and possibly finally getting that headline that we’ve all been waiting for for so long, that we’re not alone in this universe!"